Earlier today, I pondered whether BMW would ever be cool to enthusiasts again. The M3 and M4 look like a dog’s dinner, the M5 is too stiff for road use, the less said about the XM the better, and the new M2, well, it’s a great M4, but none of the M2 Competition owners I know are itching to upgrade. Thankfully, BMW seems to have almost redeemed itself because it’s rolled out a concept that is unmistakably inspired by the sub-zero clownshoe Z3 M Coupe. Yes, it’s an actual shooting brake called the BMW Concept Touring Coupe, and it’s gorgeous.
The BMW Concept Touring Coupe is, without a doubt, a Z4 shooting brake. That means you get a very close cousin to the Toyota GR Supra with a practical, distance-oriented wagon-like form. It’s in a neutral grey-brown with a sumptuous tan leather interior and a breathtaking gold set of wheels, and the only ways it could be cooler is if 1. BMW put it into production, and 2. BMW made it with a manual gearbox. This car is the internet’s wet dream in an era when it almost felt like BMW was incapable of producing something this awesome ever again.
Power comes from an inline-six, although BMW is coy on which. I reckon there’s a good chance it’s the B58 turbocharged three-liter unit found in the Z4 M40i, seeing as this stunning one-off is based on a Z4. As is BMW tradition, all that inline-six goodness goes to the rear tires, although it appears to do so through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. I know this is a concept car and costs have to be kept reasonable, but would it have really been so hard to gently tap Toyota’s shoulder and ask to borrow the ZF GS6-45BZ and pedal setup found in the GR Supra? Then the Concept Touring Coupe wouldn’t have just broken the internet, it would’ve nuked it from orbit.
The interior feels very four years ago, but in the best way possible. The current iDrive 8 system found in models from the 3-Series all the way up to the XM is horrendous, ditching buttons and burying functions like heated seats in touchscreens. In contrast, the Concept Touring Coupe appears to use iDrive 7 with its magnificent physical presets and climate controls, then drapes the dashboard and the rest of the interior in hide with a perfect satin sheen. All that leather, by the way, comes from Italian tanner Poltrona Frau, and the baseball-stitching on the seats and console gives just the right Mk1 Audi TT vibes without being entirely derivative. The tone is closer to the caramel heritage leather that was optional in the E39 BMW M5, a car that’s near and dear to pretty much every gearhead’s heart.
Circling back around to the styling, holy moly, is this thing every jaw-dropping. The iconic Hofmeister kink is loud and proud in the greenhouse, and the haunches on this thing are sensational, imbuing the shape with a massive sense of drama. The rear glass to ducktail transition is gawky in the best way possible. True beauty isn’t perfection from every angle, and this element seems fittingly function-over-form. Those multi-spoke wheels really remind me of Alpina designs, but they’re finished in what looks to be the same gold as the wheels on the M2 CS. Call them perfect reminders of the recent past. Oh, and that multi-slat grille pattern is excellent, a subtle evolution of the popular M double-slat grilles found on cars like the F10 M5.
Maybe BMW is making money on their limited-edition XMs, who knows, but wouldn’t we all be happier with this and a manual gearbox? We, the enthusiasts who helped build BMW’s rep in America. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of incredibly wealthy people with Z8s and old M3s and even 3.0 CSLs in their garages, clamoring for something like this. I don’t care if a production version would be well-optioned Porsche 718 GT4 money, I wouldn’t even care if it picked its nose and ate its own snot. I just want the chance to see one of these cars in the wild. The BMW Concept Touring Coupe is what the fans wanted all along. Now take the “Concept” out of the name and do what’s cool.
(Photo credits: BMW)
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If it came with (a) a naturally-aspirated inline-6, (b) a manual transmission, and (c) hydraulic steering, I might be tempted. Looks better than anything since BMW moved from the E-Series to the subsequent F-and-G-Series cars.
(but I agree, there’s something a bit off about the overhangs front & rear)
As someone who daily drives a twin-turbo’d BMW, I don’t quite understand why you’d want it naturally-aspirated. I’ve also grown to really like their 8-speed flappy paddle transmissions.
I dig it. Would like a little more side glass personally but this is far better than most recent BMW’s.
When will the legacy manufacturers realize that they should no longer invest (waste) resources on developing ICE vehicles.
It is a done deal.
Probably when they stop being fun and/or when all of the experts that have built entire careers on ICE tech pass on.
Should game developers stop wasting time on video games because they’re not the most efficient way to spend your time? I’ll all aboard for going electric, but that doesn’t mean that combustion is a complete waste. It’s not the most efficient, but it’s something we understand, and have decades of experience designing, building, and enjoying.
“ would it have really been so hard to gently tap Toyota’s shoulder and ask to borrow the ZF GS6-45BZ and pedal setup found in the GR Supra?”
Toyota sourced the ZF GS6-45BZ from BMW, no reason BMW would need to ask Toyota for it.
And of course they HAD to make it brown. The extended character line to the hatch works wonders.
That thing would force me into a bad financial decision if it went into production.
I often respond to these look at this new beautiful car articles with.a “really?” or “meh”, but this concept, though I wouldn’t call it stunningly beautiful (neither was the o.g. clownshoe) but it looks pretty cool. If they make it I won’t buy a new one, but would definitely be looking for used if I don’t age out first. I actually like the interior, and I generally like modern interiors even less than I like modern exterior designs, the new Tacoma with the TV set sticking out of the dash is an abomination.
First three times I tried to post in this thread I got a red banner message saying ‘nonce is invalid’. What is that about?!
Your nonce, it is invalid. Your other nonce wasn’t. Such is nonce.
Utter noncence, this.
I can only assume the Autopian’s advanced AI content approval system/gerbil with a graphics calculator read your attempted post and decided it was such a bad take that it couldn’t be allowed. Calling you a Nonce was, perhaps, a little over the top, but not entirely underserved considering this is a shooting brake with an inline 6
Are you all ill?! That looks fucking awful. The proportions are all kinds of terrible; stunted wheelbase, massive overhangs and a huge amount of bulk really high behind the rear wheels.
The details; grill, lights, might not be as awful as other recent BMWs but the fundamental design is bad.
I took a crack at it with my hamfisted editing skillz;
I think it’s still got some on-its-haunches breadvan charm, but looks a bit more purposeful:
That looks infinitely better!
Wow! That’s nice! How do designers not see that as better?
Am I the only one who is not a fan of the prolapsed rear fascia stuff. One rear bumper cover please, not 2 or 3 being squeezed out of the successively larger ones. *this is not just a BMW issue*
Bill Thomas Cheetah.
Well, Ferrari got it right with FF and GTC4 Lusso, one of the beautiful shooting brakes ever produced aside from Volvo 1800ES…
LOL at thinking this would be built, and if it does, be released in America. I love concept cars but lets not pretend they get built. BMW just needs a distraction from their grills.
they have to let this happen. let the engineer’s dreams come true.
It’s nice to covet a BMW again.
it looks anti-social—almost villainous. What gearhead doesn’t harbor a little villainy?